Ustad Zakir Hussain presents "Masters of Percussion"
Thursday, May 2, 2002, 7:00 pm
Jointly presented by:
Indian Music Society of Minnesota (IMSOM)
Ted Mann Concert Hall
Zakir Hussain, a classical Tabla maestro of the first order, has made unprecedented strides in bringing his instrument to a global audience. Widely appreciated as an international phenomenon, his consistently brilliant and exciting performances have established him globally as one of India's most renowned cultural ambassadors. The favorite accompanist for the greatest classical musicians and dancers of India, Zakir has also been a chief architect of the world music movement with his prodigious, incomparable and historic collaborations. These include "Shakti", with John McLaughlin and L. Shankar, the "Diga Rhythm Band", "Planet Drum" with Mickey Hart, and recordings and performances with artists as diverse as George Harrison, Joe Henderson, Van Morrison, Jack Bruce, Tito Puente, Billy Cobham, the Hong Kong Symphony and the New Orleans Symphony. The foremost disciple of his father, the legendary Ustad Allarakha, Zakir was a child prodigy who began his professional career at the age of twelve and was already touring internationally with great success by the age of eighteen. Zakir came to the USA in 1970, embarking on an international career which includes no fewer than 150 concert dates a year. Zakir has been the recipient of many awards and honors, including the "Padma Bhushan", awarded January 26, 2002, "Padma Shri", the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award and the 1999 National Heritage Fellowship Award, the USAs highest award for masters in the traditional arts. Zakir's career includes much work as a composer, having composed music for many film scores including "In Custody", Ismail Merchants directorial debut and Bernardo Bertoluccis "Little Buddha", and, recently, the opening music for the '96 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. He also performs and records on a dazzling array of percussion instruments and has received a Grammy (1991 Best World Music Album) for his part as performer, composer and co-producer of "Planet Drum", an ensemble with which he tours regularly. His album "Saturday Night in Bombay" with his band "Remember Shakti" has been nominated for this year's World Music Grammy. His playing is marked by uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity founded in formidable knowledge and study.
Fazal Qureshi began his training early under the keen eye of this father and Guru, Ustad Allarakha. With encouragement and inspiration from his elder brother Ustad Zakir Hussain, Fazal has developed a style distinguished by a fine sense of rhythm, versatility and eloquence. He has performed both as a soloist and as an accompanist in prestigious "Sangeet Sammelans" in India as well as major festivals abroad. The remarkable ease with which Fazal accompanies veteran as well as young Indian classical instrumentalists, vocalists and dancers of both North and South, as well as Western instrumentalists, speaks of the discipline and dedication with which this young, talented artist has pursued music.
Bhavani Shankar hails from a great musical family and began his study of Pakhawaj and Tabla with his father, Pandit Babulalji, at the age of eight. He has accompanied a wealth of India's greatest classical instrumentalists and popular vocalists and is a prolific composer for films and recordings.
Selva Ganesh is a young percussion maestro widely considered as the foremost Kanjira player of his generation. The son of the legendary T. H. Vinayakram, India's foremost Ghatam exponent, Selva is a child prodigy who has received widespread recognition for his virtuosity with this instrument. His career began in 1986 at the age of 14 years. He has been accompanying all the greats of Carnatic music such as Lalgudi Jayaraman, Mandolin U. Srinivas, M. S. Subbalakshmi etc. For the past 3 years, he has been touring worldwide with Zakir Hussain as part of "Remember Shakti", one of the foremost cross-cultural collaborations of our time. This year, "Remember Shakti" is nominated for a Grammy in the Best World Music category.
Taufiq Qureshi is Zakir Hussain's youngest brother, one of the most sought-after rhythm programmers and percussionists in the world of studio recordings today. His Guru and primary inspiration remains his illustrious father, Ustad Alla Rakha. However, Taufiq, from a very young age, was drawn to the wider world of percussion, as he watched and listened to Zakir's fusion experiments with Shakti, "Diga" and "The Rhythm Experience". He has performed as a percussionist with a host of international luminaries including Jeremy Spencer of Fleetwood Mac, Sivamani, Louis Banks, Vishwamohan Bhatt, T.H. Vinayakram, Dinshaw Sanjana, Ranjit Barot and others. He has participated in many international jazz festivals, frequently plays with India's premier rock band, "Indus Creed", and regularly composes music for films, TV and theater. His pet project has been the creation of his own world-music band, "Surya", which features versatile vocalist Shankar Mahadevan and brother Fazal Qureshi.
A. Saravanan is a young talented exponent of the Tavil, percussion instrument of South India. He learned the instrument from his father Sri A. Agoram and from Sri T. R. Subramanyam. He has toured India and the Far East, accompanying many fine musicians on the classical concert stage, including appearances with the Ghatam Vidwan, Shri T. H. Vinayakram.
Vijay Chauhan is one of the foremost exponents of the Dholki. This premier folk percussion instrument of Maharashtra has been played in his family for generations, the lineage including Anna Joshi, the late Shri Baban Kale and the late Shri Lalababu. His mother Sulochana Shamrao Chauhan is the greatest exponent of the famous Marathi folk singing style, Lavani. Besides Dholki, he plays other folk instruments such as Duff, Chanda, Halgi and the Dafali. He is a much sought-after musician and plays regularly for famous composers of Hindi, Marathi and Tamil films. He has also toured England and Australia with the great folk artist Gurdass Mann.
Ustad Sultan Khan is one of the foremost Sarangi players of India, renowned for the emotional depth of his playing, and his extraordinary technical and melodic control over this difficult string instrument. A scion of illustrious lineage of Sarangi players, he began his training at age seven, learning from his father, Ustad Gulab Khan and his first performance at the age of 11. He came to be recognized on an international scale, performing along with Pandit Ravi Shankar on former Beatle, George Harrisons 1974 "Dark Horse World Tour". He is a recipient of several awards including the Sangeet Nataka Academy Award and the American Academy of Artists Award in 1998. In 1997 he had the honor and privilege of playing for Prince Charles' 50th birthday celebration. A widely recorded artist, he has composed and recorded music for films such as "In Custody", and "Gandhi". He has a longstanding creative relationship with Zakir Hussain, performing, touring, recording and composing together for more than twenty years.